5 Tips to Reduce Holiday Shopping Fraud

As consumers, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season and drop our guard when it comes to safe shopping. The increasing balances on credit cards often result in people not checking their statements until after the holiday season.  In a rush to make purchases, caution may take a back seat to convenience and the prevalence of goodwill may convince some shoppers that criminals wouldn’t take advantage of the holiday season. Unfortunately, the holiday season is when criminals are often most active.

Secure Payment Acceptance in a Dynamic Environment

Life was simpler way back when. Some of you may remember when televisions only had three channels. A pencil or typewriter was your primary means of written communication. When you made a purchase or paid a bill, you mailed a check or paid cash at the register. Choices were limited, but simplicity appeared to make everything a little more manageable.

Innovations have lead to more choices and greater convenience—especially in our payments world. Think of all the ways consumers pay today: cash, check, credit cards, ACH/e-check, debit cards, gift cards, etc. Merchants also have a multitude of ways to accept payments: POS, online, automated recurring billing, SMS, mail order/telephone order, kiosks, integrated voice recognition (IVR), mobile devices—you name it.

New TrustCommerce Developer’s Guide Available

Some things are worth the wait! We are happy to post that the latest and greatest TrustCommerce Developer’s Guide 4.0 is now available for download within the TC Vault in PDF format. This new version comes with many improvements and several new chapters and sections. This document began as a revision to the existing TCLink Developer’s Guide, but evolved into a more comprehensive TrustCommerce Developer’s Guide.

PCI Compliance for Small Merchants

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the U.S. economy. From local mom and pop shops to innovative web start ups, we rely on these merchants daily for goods and services. In the payments world, small businesses are referred to as Level 4 merchants, those processing less than 20,000 e-commerce transactions annually and up to 1 million transactions annually. There are more than 6 million Level 4 merchants in the U.S.

PCI compliance is a vital component of merchants overall, ongoing security program. However, Level 4 merchants have not always been well educated or encouraged by their acquiring bank to become compliant.

Deciphering Debit Card Processing

It is no secret that debit cards are a popular method for paying for goods and services. Customers use their bank ATM cards and check cards to pay for everything from a pack of gum at a gas station to monthly utility bills.

Debit card payments may soon take over credit card transactions! There were 507 million total debit cards in circulation in U.S. at the end of 2009. Debit payment transactions rose 17.1% to 6.38 billion, according to Visa and MasterCard.

Secure Payment Solutions that Come with a Guide

On my morning commute, lost in thought, I drove right past the office. Snapping out of it, I realized what I’d done, took a right turn and began my detour back to the office.  Having never gone this route, I saw buildings and roads I’d never seen before, discovering better paths for future trips.
Seeing things in a new light makes me think about the TrustCommerce professional services team. What I love about our team is how they look at a project from every angle – upside down, backwards, and sideways before arriving at a clear plan for reaching an objective. Our team has lead projects and implementations for leading organizations in key vertical markets and apply that unique knowledge to every project.

Weighing in on Mobile Payments

I am an information junkie. I sign up for a multitude of e-newsletters. I set up Google Alerts for topics that are important to me, watch Twitter trends and follow thought leaders on social media. Each morning, I sift through the information to find the day’s gold nugget. Here’s what I learned from my inbox this morning:

  • 57% of U.S retailers are preparing or already have a mobile commerce strategy.*
  • Mobile commerce will generate $6 billion in sales this year and is expected to double in 2012.
  • “Life is luck, make it.” –Mother Teresa

Mobile commerce is here to stay. As you develop your strategy, I offer food for thought:

Vantiv Launches New Direct API Offering Fast, Secure and Flexible Integrations

CINCINNATI, Aug. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Vantiv, LLC (formerly, Fifth Third Processing Solutions), is pleased to announce the availability of the Vantiv Direct API. This simplified interfacing routine and logic is designed to expedite development onto the robust functionality of the Vantiv processing platforms.

The Vantiv Direct API offers ease of integration for large merchants, vendors and third parties, while shortening the certification cycle. Using the Direct API, Vantiv business partners can reduce integration times by 50% or more, while gaining a deeper integration conduit. This powerful API allows integrators to connect to a choice of Vantiv processing platforms and supports multiple settlement options for a wide array of tender choices.

TrustCommerce Welcomes New Partner, JayStar Group, Inc.

IRVINE, California, August 23, 2011 — TrustCommerce, provider of comprehensive payment processing and risk management solutions, has recently partnered with JayStar Group, the leader in union back office solutions. JayStar Group provides unions with a comprehensive suite of practical, proven solutions to meet the daily challenges of their information systems requirements. JayStar Group recently launched its new PayMyUnionDues.com website, which utilizes TrustCommerce technologies and solutions.

Serving labor organizations of all sizes, the JayStar Group’s web-based system can process dues and virtually any other typical union payments by individual members or by designated proxies. It includes these features and more: